During a tense episode caught on video and posted online, Missouri police officer, Lt. Ray Albers pointed a semi-automatic assault rifle at a Ferguson protester and threatened to kill him
The St. Louis County Police Department announced Wednesday that Albers was from St. Ann, Missouri, and “has been relieved of duty and suspended indefinitely” over the incident.
Police threatening to kill a citizen takes on special significance given what protesters are demanding charges be filed against Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for the August 9 killing of unarmed teen, Michael Brown.
In another video, protestors can be heard shouting at the officer to lower his weapon. At least one other cop can be seen trying to deescalate the situation by placing his hand on the weapon to lower it.
Albers told St. Ann Police Chief Aaron Jimenez he was sick to his stomach and “should have known better,” Jimenez said. He has been placed on indefinite, unpaid suspension from the force while an investigation is underway.
“It’s frustrating, because we told [our officers] before we went down there that there would be lots of people trying to antagonize to provoke them into saying something,” Jimenez told huffington post. “Whether you’re a pedestrian or protesters, you have to be professional, and [Albers’] actions weren’t in any way, shape or form.”
Stress and fear may have contributed to the confrontation, Jimenez said, but didn’t excuse the officer’s behavior. However, the police chief said his department supports Albers’ raising of his weapon at protesters.